We fear so we think if we can control everything around us or within us then we will be safe.
Control is an illusion. Learning to let go of my illusion of control, has been a many decade endeavor. I, seriously, believed that once I understood that there is really nothing I can control that the rest would be gravy, so to speak. I really didn’t understand that driving element of fear pressure cooking inside me. I don’t blame my parents or society for my fear but I do question the circumstances surrounding that knowing of where they came from…these depression age people who lived through knowing about the atrocities that can happen if you don’t fight for and protect yourself…just look at what happened to the Jews. The generation grew up fearing scarcity. Perhaps they survived with an oath of never again.
I know this mentality leaked out…as a child, I caught the drips and drifts of the fear cloud that hung over the 50’s and 60’s. There was often something to be afraid of. Keep your head down, don’t brag and fear other people that are not like you!
The gravel road to understanding and healing myself led me to the spiritual inner voice within…not out there…a very simple concept in reality of who we really are but not an overnight fix by any means. It’s all inside me…the answer is right here….not out there…there’s nothing outside there that I need to control….there is nothing out there controlling me.
Back when I was all up into organized religion, I was ever reminded that whenever doubt crept in about what I was suppose to believe, that meant I didn’t believe enough. I totally bought it. I bought it because I already had a perfect score in domestication. My parents probably did the best they could bringing up little Nina by passing their own rigid rules and “because I said so” “never cross the line”. AND if you do cross the line or if you don’t live up to expectations then you are not a good girl. What is wrong with you.
So, of course, I internalized how bad I was, how different I was because I didn’t get it…didn’t believe at face value what everyone expected me to believe. I just didn’t have the faith that everyone else had, something was off with me, WHAT WAS WRONG WITH ME?
As I entered my middle age years, I stepped out…I quietly rebelled. I followed rules even when they made no sense. But, I Started gently balking the system. In my head I fought like a ninja to change the rules. For the most part I was polite and strategic and realized in my work and in my family and among friends that if I could put enough evidence out there that change was actually their idea, I succeeded. That’s when I realized I was manipulative. I had learned the art of manipulation.
It all came together for me when I put two and two together and figured out organized “religion”. That’s when I started seeing the flashing lights over the pulpit spelled out — Do as I Say, Not what I Do. That’s when I figured out that the rules and laws and the “interpretation” of the holy book was the way organized religion supervised the running of private lives. That’s when, ding ding, I realized that just because someone says it, just because someone else believes it, just because it’s someone else’s rule does not mean I have to believe it. And the BEST PART ….. I don’t continue day to day with the voices of doubt, the feelings of not being good enough. There is nothing wrong with me. I have choices. I am able to live by intuition. I am able recognize when something feels right and something feels wrong. I am learning to love everyone. I recognize that we are all the same but we haven’t all taken the same road to discovery.
Ding, ding. It’s really all okay until we think it is not ok.
A couple weeks ago, a friend of mine announced that he was taking off for Florida for a few weeks. I had 3 thoughts.
He is an integral part of a spirit book class I attend on Thursdays and I thought…bummer.
Wow that sounds really fun….this will be the second winter that thoughts of escaping the cold will be foiled because of things happening in my life. O’ POOR ME
Why would he want to go in January…why not wait until February…February always sucks!
Today as I sit here watching the snow fall over already ice covered streets I had an “ah ha” moment.
My threefold thought process didn’t occur because of Randy’s trip to Florida in January. It occurred because it triggered me to past life disappointments that were very real, emotions were attached to these disappointments and in all likelihood I had wallowed in them.
I will miss his input in group was a genuine feeling.
These “things” holding me back from taking off for a week are all in my mind and are only based in fear aka I shouldn’t, I couldn’t, what would, what if.
He should go in February is nothing but my ego jumping in saying that Randy is wrong and I am right….plain and simple….February is the month to escape…my rules
So today on Randy’s birthday that he is spending walking barefoot on a beach in Florida, I’m watching the snow fall, I have an opportunity to spend a day with myself reading, crafting, crocheting and realizing right here, right now that I am content and I am thankful because I am loved and I am blessed!
Sometimes I feel like I’m on a horse with no reins. Mentally that is…it really isn’t possible for me to board a horse, get on a horse, mount a horse? The last time I threw my leg over a horse on a carousel at the carousel museum in Leavenworth, KS, I had that moment of terror….while actively mounting the fake horse….what if I can’t get on….but much, much worse…what if I can’t get off.
I am not a riding a horse person….flying across the meadow on a horse with no name seems like it would be terrifying …… although…it might be exactly what I need to do if:
I could give up control physically and in my mind not try to control the outcome….ie. not worry about who will clean up the blood and carry me over the mountains to a hospital.
Breath into my feelings of fear and realize that the outcome is only a scenario I’m playing out in my head based on all of the fear based thinking that has gone before as I’ve tried to prepare myself for every eventuality rather than just relaxing and being!
Allow someone to help me rather than faking strong and overly competent as I’ve always done in the past. Residue from childhood of not having confidence that there were “people” to take care of me rather than me having to take care of them. *cough mother.
My thoughts today as I realize mom has now been gone from this life for 10 years. There are just ashes left of the past I’ve left behind. It’s all happening right now. Everything else is an illusion…..just like the illusion of the future where I see myself riding a horse with no reins across the meadow. Just like control of the horse, I only have the illusion of control in my life.
Free will to make decisions, yes…actually being in control….no, not really.
I am a recovering control freak! I’ve spent many years making firm decisions, manipulating situations and other people so that things could or would be done “correctly”. There are few people that I willingly allowed dominance over me and usually this was accomplished by fellow manipulators….or perhaps I should include those who held a superior roll in my life…like bosses or parents. I usually figured it out eventually. When I look back on it, I don’t really regret my weaknesses because I learned the lessons and eventually recognized the signs.
Back in the day when I would adjust the TV Guides and remotes on the coffee table several times a day, become angry when things were not done the way I thought they should be done, I started realizing that this wasn’t about the TV Guide, etc at all. It was actually a power move to have control over things I thought I COULD control….and these were very insignificant things when viewing the big picture.
I now see control as an illusion in order to protect ourselves. My Kidney cancer diagnosis was one of those face slaps that brought reality to the forefront. Bad things happen, relationships cease to function and sometimes….it’s just a fact….life does not always work out they way we demand and/or plan. We have our hopes and dreams but the bottom line we must just react on a daily basis to life. I’m finding that life is so much easier and peaceful when I don’t have carved in stone expectations of others or situations. We don’t really control anything, we make wrong and right decisions based on the facts we are given. Control freaks are difficult people and speaking from experience, I don’t think they are generally happy people…we are afraid of the unknown and I think we cause ourselves more grief when we are unwilling to just “roll with it”!
But actually it was a fail! While this kind of dream may seem quite negative….I woke up feeling stronger than I have in a few months….
Memories of the dream are sketchier as the morning awake progresses but hang with me here a bit…
I had a huge argument – yelling argument – with Sheriff V. In real life he was an asshole I worked for…I was so surprised in the dream that the next day he offered me and 3 co workers a weekend away in a hotel. I was skeptical. We checked into the hotel…I was with Lynnette; and, Craig and Marsha roomed together. I was immediately back at work and walked around the corner and He (the real husband-correctional officer) whispered that I was being set up. In order to find out what was going on, I participated in some flirting with the sheriff and then came upon a box containing a brown paper sack and list of the 4 of us employees and what hotel rooms we were in. I stuck my hand in the sack and it was full of cocaine. I showed him my hand covered with the cocaine and told him I knew what his plan was and I then called the local newspaper.
….and that is all I remember….I woke up feeing strong, empowered and in control of my life again.
I have had several “therapy” conversations with Jenny as to why I just can’t seem to get back to feeling at peace – I had kidney cancer, I had surgery, the cancer was contained in the kidney and when the kidney was removed…so was the cancer…but I couldn’t seem to get my peace of life back again.
It takes awhile when we encounter struggle in our lives…it takes time to work through it. Once we think we have dealt with our own particular life struggle, we expect to get a high role on the dice and jump back into it. It takes time…sometimes we just have to wallow in our struggle until we get more strength to continue the climb.
….and for those of you reading this who know the characters in the dream…and perhaps will disagree with my description of this Sheriff V. Disagree…that’s your opinion…and by putting it out there in MY blog in black and white – I’ve had the courage to put it out there the way I lived it and stepped up one more rung on my ladder.
their home was to be placed squarely on the coffee table with the remote placed vertically straight on top – centered. If I noticed anything eschew, I would lean over and straighten them so they were perfect. Back in the day when Jenny was a toddler, before I would go to bed at night, I would count every one of her colored plastic blocks as I put them back in the container and if one was missing – I enlisted him to help me find it…THEN we would go to bed. There was a time when I cleaned my bathroom – at least once a day…cleaned – not cleaned up. For most of my younger years, I did not leave the house without my hair being perfect, my makeup on and agonized over what clothes I would wear – changing my outfits several times before I left the house. Yet, my closets and kitchen cupboards were a mess. I jammed things into them anyway they would fit and then I would close the door.
I have a tendency to revisit similar habits now…when I’m feeling insecure. Perhaps I should turn that around to this: I realize I am feeling insecure when I have the need to obsessively organize things on the outside…the things that others might see as a failing on my part. Just a few minutes ago I was in the laundry room and thinking about the multi-colored hangers I own. The thought crossed my mind that maybe what I should do is have different colored hangers for him and different colored hangers for me. The theory that when I pull things out of the dryer, they could be hung on the appropriate colored hanger so when I put them away, I would know which go on his side of the closet and which go on my side of the closet. Then I thought – sounds great but what if I have a momentary lapse and hang clothes on the wrong hanger and they are put in the closet wrong, you know 180 degrees off from where they should be…and then patted myself on the back because I realized how much more anxiety this could create….what’s going on in my life right now that I can’t control!
I tightly hold on to the things I can control because there are other things I can’t control and anxiety and cold sores are the symptoms!